Words to the Wise
At eleven in the morning on Monday, in the octagonal nondenominational Rothko Chapel, enveloped by Mark Rothko’s calming, black-hued paintings, visitors will hear these words: “I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.” That is the first sentence of the “I Have a Dream” speech by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., originally delivered at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, during the March on Washington. It is one of four by Dr. King to be broadcast not only inside the chapel but also on the grounds near Barnett Newman’s sculpture Broken Obelisk, which is a memorial to Dr. King. The other speeches are “Eulogy for the Young Victims of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing” at one o’clock, “Beyond Vietnam” at three o’clock. and “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” at five o’clock. Those who observe the Martin Luther King Day adage—a day on, not a day off—can hear all four.
Rothko Chapel, January 20, noon, rothkochapel.org
Luis A. Jiménez Jr., a draftsman and sculptor born in El Paso, came of age during the Chicano movement. That influence manifests itself in the 1969 sculpture Man on Fire. A seven-foot-tall bronze cast of the work created in 1999 by Jiménez was recently acquired by the McNay Art Museum and installed on the Brown Sculpture Terrace. Man on Fire depicts Cuauhtémoc, the Aztec ruler whom the Spaniards tortured by setting his feet to a fire. The piece represents both Mexico’s historical struggles and the struggles of Jiménez, who challenged the rules of contemporary American sculpture while bringing awareness of the borders to a national audience. Inside the McNay is the complementary exhibit “Native Son: Prints and Drawings by Luis A. Jiménez Jr.,” open through this weekend. “Old Lady With a Cat” is a portrait that Jiménez made of his grandmother, from whom he learned about Cuauhtémoc. “Jiménez had fond memories of her reading books aloud about the history and culture of Mexico,” Lyle W. Williams, a McNay curator, said in an email. “Those readings would have enduring meaning for Jiménez, both personally and professionally.”
McNay Art Museum, January 17-19, mcnayart.org
The far-out-looking dude on the left in the quintessential Jim Marshall photograph of Willie Nelson wearing a “Shotgun Willie” T-shirt is Leon Russell. Russell, the piano man and songwriter from Oklahoma, has worked with stars like Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones, and some regard his self-titled 1970 solo album as a classic in the rock canon. In 2010 Russell worked with his friend Elton John on “The Union,” a mix of traditional songs that Rolling Stone ranked number three on its list of that year’s best albums. In December Russell, 71, released “Snapshot,” a ten-song best-of album. So he is expected to mine his catalog on tour, which makes its first Texas stop in Dallas, where the stage will be set for a rousing rendition of “Waltz Across Texas.”
House of Blues, January 22, 7 p.m., leonrussellrecords.com
The photographs in “Hester + Hardaway: Architecture + People,” an exhibition at the Beeville Art Museum that draws heavily from Paul Hester and Lisa Hardaway’s book Historic Texas Courthouses, do two things. They show off the state’s bounty of Old World architecture. And they are a subtle reminder for viewers to mind their p’s and q’s, lest they end up like the inmates at the notorious McConnell or Garza units in Beeville. Hester, a renowned Houston architectural photographer, will also display images from two other books. One of them, Philip Johnson and Texas, covers the prominent architect who built the JFK Memorial in Dallas, the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, and the Houston home of the arts patrons Dominique and John de Menil.
Beeville Art Museum, January 18–April 25, bamtexas.org
From the jitterbug and the Lindy Hop born of the Harlem Renaissance to the African influence imbued into modern dance by Alvin Ailey, who grew up in Rogers, blacks have shaped dance in a major way, and at the twenty-sixth annual International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference and Festival, elite dancers from across the country will show off their latest inventions.
Marriott City Center and Southern Methodist University, January 17–19, dbdt.com
Texan for a Day
That’s right, Robert Duvall is not from Texas, but because he is a friend to the outlaw singer-songwriter Billy Joe Shaver and because of his unforgettable portrayals of Gus McCrae in Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove and Mac Sledge in Horton Foote’s Tender Mercies, Texas wants him anyway—and it will get him Thursday for the Brilliant Lecture Series.
Wortham Center, January 23, 7 p.m., brilliantlectures.org